An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.
"Wil," crackled the voice of President George W Bush over the telephone. "We need you for a special emergency mission. You must act as the defending counsel for dethroned Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein!"
"Aw, Christ, Georgie," I replied. "I already went out on a limb when I planted those phony documents at 60 Minutes. I thought that made us Even Stevens?"
"Wil, need I remind you that you impregnated both my daughters in a single night and then demanded that the White House reimburse you for the costs of the abortions? I don't think we're going to be even for a good long time."
"Boy, one little mistake and that's all you ever talk about. It's not like you never."
"Here's the deal," the President interrupted. "Saddam's current lawyer, Jacques Verges, has walked out on the job. And the Iraqi people can't come up with a single competent attorney so devoid of ethics and morality that he would stoop to defending their former power-mad tyrant. When I heard of this conunderdrum it struck me that there was one person on earth who could play such a role: Wil Forbis, legendary publisher of the Internet laugh site Acid Logic."
"Gosh, I guess that's why you're President."
"Well, that and the fact that 100,000 household pets were allowed to vote in Ohio!"
"I always said you had the canine vote locked up!"
"Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!"
"Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha"
And so it was less than 37 hours later that I found myself parachuting into the now dusty oil fields of modern Iraq. Upon landing I rolled twice and then leapt to my feet brandishing my three-inch pen-knife, a surefire way of intimidating any Iraqi terrorists who might be perusing the area.
"Mr. Forbis," I heard a voice call out. I turned to my left and saw a tiny, brown-skinned man running towards me.
"Yaahhh!," I cried out. "Chocolate Smurfs!"
"No, sir," My erstwhile accoster informed me. "I am Tattoo, your guide and interpreter."
"Eh, ok. Can you take me to Saddam Hussein?"
"Sure thing, boss. But that's a real strange fantasy."
Within hours I was walking down the dank and musty hallways of the Baghdad prison wherein Saddam Hussein was being held. As I passed each cell the prisoners inside, usually high ranking former government officials, would scream out something in Arabic.
"What's that one saying?" I asked Tattoo.
"He would like remove your intestines with a can opener and replace them with live snakes who would wriggle into your lungs and cause you great agony."
"And that one?"
"He says you look as if your mother had willing sexual relations with a kangaroo."
"He is upset that 'Sideways' was not nominated for Best Picture."
"You and me both, buddy," I muttered under my breath. "You and me both."
At the end of the hallway was a large steel door. Tattoo removed a ring of keys from his belt, fumbled around and swung the door open. I stepped inside to see a hairy, bearded, disheveled man, lying on a cot watching a videotape of "Girls Gone Wild." As I stood in the doorway, Saddam Hussein burped.
"Good Lord," I exploded. "I've seen wookies with better grooming!"
"And you must be the great Wil Forbis, come to save me from the gallows," Hussein intoned in perfect English.
"Huh - I didn't know you could speak American."
"I've been watching a of FRIENDS episodes," the shaggy dictator explained. "I'm up to season 5."
"You know that Ross and Rachel eventually."
"Shut up! SHUT UP! Don't ruin in for me!" Hussein screamed.
"Well," I said, sitting down on a large box marked 'WMDs.' "I'm planning to use the insanity defense, so I think the first thing we should do is go over your case history and see if anything stands out. Were you molested by your father, dropped on your head by your mother, that sort of thing?"
"This is foolishness," Hussein complained. "I am as sane as you."
"Exactly! Now you're working with me. So Sadie.. Tell me about yourself."
(NOTE TO STUDENTS OF WRITING: NOTICE HOW I HAVE SMOOTHLY LED INTO A STANDARD JOURNALISTIC PROFILE IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS SEEMINGLY COMICAL DIALOGUE SECTION.)
"I was born April 28, 1937, in the poor farming village of Tikrit, Iraq. There I was raised by dear widowed mother who."
"Blah, blah, I've seen this movie before, furball. Get to the part where you start killing people."
"Yes, that's my favorite too. I was still in my early twenties, an age when most men are learning to plow fields or fornicate with goats when I took part in an orchestrated assassination attempt against Iraq's then prime minister, Abd al-Karim Qasim. We failed, and I got shot in the leg, but let me tell you, it was an exhilarating experience. The gunfire in the air, the pounding in my chest. That's when I knew I was hooked on killing and destroying my enemies."
"You know," I jumped in. "When I was twenty I got the highest score on the Galaga video game at the local shopping center and then-"
"After the attempt, I fled to Cairo and began studying law. After all, you have to know the rules before you can break them, correct my friend?"
"Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha."
"Yes. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha indeed. And it paid off. While I pursued my studies the Baath party took power and I returned to Iraq in 1963 to take the role assistant secretary general for the organization. Then I.."
"Hold on. The what party?"
"The, er, Baath Party."
"The Bath Party? Jesus, who was your main competition? The Shower Brigade?"
"What's so funny?" Saddam thundered. "We were the Baath Party. We were feared and respected for our undying commitment to pursuing power and."
"It makes sense in a way, since you need a bath. But, please, continue."
"Unfortunately our victory was short lived. The Baath party was overthrown and I was placed under arrest in 1964."
"You might say the Baath party took a bath!" I threw in.
"Are you my lawyer or my comedian?" an irate Saddam discharged. "Only two years ago I was shredding people for far less insolent remarks!"
"Anyway, just three years later I escaped from prison. In 1968 I helped lead my fellow Baathites in a bold and daring attack on the Presidential Palace. This time victory was ours and we assumed command of the nation. And so closed the chapter in my life I like to call Saddam the Adventurer. In his place stood Saddam the Politician."
"What did Saddam the Politician like to have for breakfast?" I asked.
"Cheerios," Hussein replied. "With bananas. And with such a hearty breakfast in my belly I set forth to rebuild Iraq into the cornerstone of civilization it once had been. I nationalized the oil industry and used the profits to build our societal infrastructure: schools, hospitals, factories and a national clown college run by Howie Mandel! These were good times, my friend. Good times. "
"And then you had to go and spoil it in 1980 by invading Iran."
"They were asking for it. They had a clown college run by Jerry Lewis!"
"Tell me about the Saddam we've never met - Saddam the lover. You've were married to your first wife in 1958, correct? And she was your first cousin? You must have had a real Jerry Lee Lewis thing happening there."
"More like 'Goodfellahs,'" the dictator replied. "Sajida was very hot tempered woman, like Lorraine Bracco. I had to placate her throughout the 70's with gifts. Houses, jewelry, the severed heads of my political enemies."
"Nothing says 'I love you' like a severed head," I nodded.
"Especially when, like myself, you are a skilled ventriloquist." Saddam added.
But you also had an open relationship with a mistress whom you eventually married. A Miss Samira Shahbandar?"
"Yes, Sammy! Wonderful woman. She was married at the time but her drooling worm of a husband didn't think twice about getting out of my way."
"But Sajida wasn't happy with the situation. Her brother, Adan, made public his grievances about the affair."
"And the poor fellow lost his life in a helicopter accident. It's a funny old world."
"I see." I mused, trying to take in all the information. "It's beginning to become clear. You're filled with a seething urge to destroy those who annoy you. You want to use your power and influence to sleep with as many women as possible. And you want to be worshipped like a rock star by everyone around you."
"You read me like a book!" Saddam agreed.
"In short," I announced, finger in the air, "You're just a regular guy!"
"Er, what?" Saddam asked.
"This is the perfect defense. All I need to do is convince your jury, indeed, the entire world, that the same black heart beats in their chest as it does yours. That they share your dark urges (only you are better at acting upon them.) I JUST NEED TO SHOW THAT WE'RE ALL AS BAD AS SADDAM HUSSEIN!!!"
"Is is too late for me to defend myself? "
WILL WIL FORBIS SAVE SADDAM HUSSEIN? FOR MORE DETAILS READ THE NEW YORK TIMES!
What do you think America? Leave your comments on the Guestbook!
Wil Forbis is the pen named shared by such noted authors as James Ellroy, Katie Roiphe, and Jim Thompson. E-mail him, I mean, them, at email@example.com
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